Understanding North Carolina’s ignition interlock device laws

| Apr 13, 2021 | DWI Defense |

When North Carolina authorities charge you with driving while intoxicated and the charge ends up leading to a conviction, you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car and any others you drive. The ignition interlock device requires you to submit a breath sample before your car starts. There are also installation and maintenance fees associated with having one.

Per Guardian Interlock, whether you have to finance, install and use an ignition interlock device following a North Carolina drunk driving arrest depends on several factors. These factors may include the circumstances surrounding your arrest and whether your conviction was for a first or repeat offense.

Device requirements after a first DWI

Installation of an ignition interlock device is not mandatory after a first offense. However, if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.15%, then you must install and use the device for at least one year after you regain your driving privileges.

Device requirements after a second DWI

The installation and use of an ignition interlock device become mandatory after a second or subsequent drunk driving conviction. After a second DWI conviction, you must install and use the ignition interlock device for at least three years from the date you begin driving again.

Device requirements after a third DWI

After a third North Carolina DWI, you must install and use an ignition interlock device for at least seven years once you regain the privilege to drive.

Once you have an ignition interlock device on your car, it is important to follow all guidelines associated with it. Failing to do so may lead to additional legal trouble.